Captain's ReportCapt. Steve Says...Cruisability FirstI can always get a good feel for how a boat handles her passengers by stepping aboard and bringing a few friends as well. Try it yourself at a boat show when there are others onboard at the same time. How does the she handle the passengers? Is everyone crowded into a small space or is there room to move about and not feel claustrophobic? These are areas where the wide 9’6” beam of this 29’ boat really just begins to shine. There’s just so much space that you are tempted to get out the tape measure and double check that it’s really 29’. And there’s plenty of room to put those new friends when they suddenly show up at your door with rods in hand. Four adults can sit comfortably in the U-shaped bow seating, add two more in the flip-up seat at the front of the console (complete with armrests), throw in two at the helm, one more at the rear facing seat behind the helm seats (complete with footrest, thankyouverymuch), and stick two more in the dual aft fold down seats and nine fishing buddies, or neighborhood friends are set for either a day offshore in a fast, comfortable ride or a gentle cruise to the dockside restaurant.
Catamaran Handling...Catamarans are a very different breed from V-hulls, and there is a lot of controversy surrounding them, and WorldCat catamarans are no exception. They ride great, and are very dry, but the catamaran naysayers complain that they typically lean outboard during turns, a feeling that can be quite disconcerting at times. This is something V-hull manufacturers like to pick on, so let’s put the issue front and center. In a slow, easy turn they are right, the World Cat 290 will lean outward, and that is just a characteristic that one must get used to with cats this size. But it is not unsafe -- just different than a deep-V monohull. If you are in a gentle and slow turn, it will lean outboard in the turn, but you can trim the inboard engine up and compensate for it. Or, you can give the outboard side some tab. What a boater really should worry about is an outward lean when making a sharp turn at speed, as that is what could fling a passenger or the helmsman overboard. In the World Cat 290, when you put the helm hard over at speed it actually leans into the turn. In other words, if you turn hard and fast, the 290 actually leans into the turn just as you might expect from a monohull. Does your boat have trim tabs? Why do you suppose that is? To compensate for handling characteristics perhaps? We’ll do a test on the 290CC soon and put all this to rest on that day.
If there ever was a stable platform for fishing, a catamaran is it... well next to a bridge or the beach that is. And this boat was definitely not made for a day at the small lake or a calm river. Let the winds blow and damn the torpedoes as you head offshore for serious angling. And bringing enough equipment is the least of your worries. Behind the seats at the bow are two cleverly laid out storage compartments for 6 rods, 3 on each side, and they’re lockable as well. Usually this space is open to the hull and a shelf is thrown in with a couple of drink holders. WorldCat just moved the drink holders to the ends of the seats so they gained added storage without panicking the coffee drinkers among us. Add storage for 3 more rods to either side of the console makes twelve. Throw four more in the rocket launchers and you’re up to 16 before even touching the gunwale mounted rod holders. And there’s storage all around the cockpit for tackle drawers, spools of line, lure holders… all in dedicated compartments. In fact, there’s so much storage that a label maker, to mark what is where, should come as standard equipment on this boat.
The console has the usual hardtop option and a zippered compartment underneath for life jackets. But what I really liked was the windshield that runs all the way to the overhead for complete protection from wind and rain. Need air? There are vents on the sides to accommodate. Worried about your precious nav package? Not on this boat… a lockable panel covers everything nicely. Out of sight, out of a potential thief’s mind – and out of the whether as well! The helm seats offer separate flip-up bolsters, and there’s a glove box cleverly placed between the two seats.
Visibility from the helm in the T-Top model is pretty good. There are only two aluminum pipes running from the side of the console to the T-Top for support. This is much better than the normal criss-crossing of pipes that we often see. Also, the pipes are affixed to the console side and not to the cockpit deck where it just becomes something to stumble around.
I liked that there are two anchor lockers; one of them is even holding a wash down hose for the muddy chain. Recessed toe space at the edge of the deck allows you to fish just a little bit closer to the rail. Doors lead to the separate compartments that hold the macerator, fresh water pump, port and starboard fuel filters, and even a fire extinguisher compartment right next to the helm, where it belongs. Under the footrest at the helm is yet another insulated storage compartment, as if you needed another on this boat. And where others just stick a battery switch wherever they can fit it, this boat sports a complete battery management compartment right under the helm seat.This is a boat that really deserves a serious look to appreciate all that went into it. I just couldn’t stop lifting, opening, poking, and snooping and I probably still didn’t get to take in everything that this boat has to offer. Click here to schedule your own tour.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
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